Saturday, January 9, 2010

Armed Librarians 12-13: Murder she wrote

The men take a back seat. And no, I won't be recapping the recap episode because that would be silly.
EPISODE 12: The Past, Irrationality, and a Pipe's Smoke
More Screencaps from Armed Librarians: The Book of Bantorra 12

One foggy morning, Mattalast Balory (Matt) comes home and finds Hamyuts there, helping herself to some breakfast. Their subsequent conversation draws Matt to a flashback of the time when he first met Hamyuts. It was at a bar during a police raid. Matt, a born flirt, thought he was about to score on a certain well-endowed, glasses-wearing chick when said chick tries to kill him. Matt's ability to see two seconds into the future saves him and allows him to win the battle, but just barely, and two of them engage in an affair. Later, Matt gets Hamyuts to join the armed librarians and she quickly rises up in the ranks. Fearing her bloodthirsty nature, the armed librarians' then Acting Director orders Matt to kill Hamyuts after they accomplish their mission to terminate the traitor, Hiza. In a twist, irrational even to himself, Matt fails to pull the trigger against Hamyuts.

EPISODE 13: A Day Off, A Picture Book, and Rusty Hair
More Screencaps from Armed Librarians: The Book of Bantorra 13

Mirepoc journeys to Fulbeck City ostensibly to investigate an actress Parney's murder but actually to find out anything she could about Rascal Othello. Hamyuts sends Matt along to keep a close eye on her. Despite knowing that Matt is Hamyuts' spy on this mission, Mirepoc continues to investigate but as she draws closer to the truth, she attracts the unwanted attention of a sword-wielding mock-woman with a vendetta. Mirepoc eventually comes face to face with her and barely gets out alive. Matt, however, arrives just in time to save her, but the enemy gets away. Far away, the remaining true men of the Shideki Church watch it all from a pedestal.


WTF? That is quickly becoming my constant reaction to this series. And I don't necessarily mean that in a good way.

Just when I thought I had Hamyuts down, Episode 12 came and mixed it all up. The episode is out of context, completely unnecessary and, to my mind, self-indulgent. Yes, yes, I am a Matt x Hamyuts shipper. Haven't I made that obvious before? And I have to admit I was pretty excited about this episode. But enjoying a fandom ship and watching a story that actually makes sense are two different things. Episode 12 does not make sense and I don't understand how it can be important to the upcoming episodes. Sure, it revealed to us that Hamyuts is even crazier than originally thought (you can add "masochistic" to her list of attributes) but did we need to know that? I don't think so. The only connection I can make to this primarily flashback episode with the rest of the series is the mention of Rascal Othello but it's very brief and honestly, if the purpose of this plot device was to advance that angle in the story, it could have been done better. This is self-indulgent nonsense.

On the other hand, taking into account the fact that this series seems to take each episode as individual standalone tales, Episode 12 doesn't even stand out as a love story between Matt and Hamyuts. There was no mention of feelings. Even in their quiet moments, all they talked about was killing each other, which is character-revealing but pretty much pointless. We already know Hamyuts is obsessed with murder. Come on! I wanted to know about Matt! All I got was the same crap I've been fed with since the series began: he's a womanizer. So? So? They could have at least explained clearly why Matt couldn't kill Hamyuts instead of cowering behind the philosophy of an irrational world. Aargh! It's so frustrating. >:O

Now for Episode 13, this was much better. I didn't like that they had to make Mirepoc the subject of fanservice but I suppose I can understand the attraction there. The rusty-haired chick is ridiculously characterized but interesting because she seems to have the same Sperm Power Radar (TM) that Hamyuts has. The burning question now is: Who is Rascal Othello? And what is it about his legend that even Hamyuts and the Shideki Church are compelled to work with each other (to a point) to protect the truth from getting out?